YALI Network member Edda Zekarias of Addis Ababa is always on the lookout for a story to tell.
Rarely without her camera, Edda says that by watching, listening to and learning from others she has become a more effective communicator. Photography “helps give life to my writing,” she says. “It helps me tell stories and bond with grass-roots communities.”
Edda says another way she learns is by belonging to the YALI Network. “I am able to read about active youth across Africa,” the 30-year-old says, adding that the continent “is steadily building youth who are passionately helping societies and communities.”
“YALI has done a great job of helping African youth speak a similar language and this, in my opinion, is wonderful.”
Edda also values travel. She says it has helped her understand the dynamics of culture and what makes people “similar and yet diverse.”
She believes youth need to embrace the quiet qualities of leadership — like patience, critical thinking and peaceful negotiation. “I hope for enlightened African youth who resort to constructive criticism built around proper dialogue.”
With a background in world history and peace and conflict studies, Edda works at the Ethiopia office of the United Nations Development Programme.